by Cory Hott January 26, 2024
Being a skilled writer and crafting an author mindset isn’t just about how to use writing techniques properly. Sure, knowing how to construct a sentence well is important. But what happens when the writers block hits? What happens when you find yourself jamming your fingers against the keyboard instead of letting your brilliance flow onto the page?
You see, an often overlooked yet vital aspect of developing as an author is nurturing the right mental framework that empowers your creative flow. Just as championship athletes rely on coaching to strengthen their psychological resilience alongside technical skills, authors must build mental muscle and self-awareness to withstand the demands of writing.
This goes beyond merely learning proper writing techniques like how to spell properly or craft compelling plots. Things like overcoming writer’s block that stifles idea flow, overcoming imposter syndrome, finding your individual writing rhythm, and creating sustainable daily writing habits deeply influence the joy and productivity every author experiences.
In this article, we’ll explore the inner terrain of writing—internal obstacles that can either hinder creators or propel productivity if approached with the right mindset.
You’ll learn how to overcome writer’s block so you can better identify what to write, how to develop your own writing plan so you can write fast, and most importantly, how to be a writer.
Developing an empowering author’s psyche is just as important as sharpening sentences. Prepare to level up both emotional and technical writing skills essential to mastery. Let’s dig in.
How to Overcome Writer’s Block
Writer’s block refers to struggling to generate or develop ideas while writing. It leaves authors feeling stuck, unable to move forward with their work. Rather than a single cause, writer’s block stems from varied issues like perfectionism, fear of vulnerability, creative exhaustion, or unclear direction stifling idea flow.
Perfectionists endlessly polish early sentences which prevents completing a full first draft. Trauma survivors may unconsciously resist revisiting painful memories not yet processed. Burnout from forcing creativity depletes inspiration. And without an outline mapping the book, writers grow overwhelmed by the blank page.
While intensely frustrating, writer’s block is surmountable with the right tactics. Outlining chapters ahead liberates authors to write without constant self-doubt. Letting underdeveloped writing rest allows half-baked ideas to fully bake. Shutting down your inner critic’s judgmental voice by intentionally creating “shitty first drafts” combats idealized visions paralyzing progress. And directly addressing subconscious fears in a compassionate journal dialogue can unravel resistance.
With experimentation, you can discover personalized techniques working with your unique creative rhythms. The key is neither to brute force inspiration nor abandon projects entirely. Have faith that with trial-and-error, you can solve the puzzle of what unlocks your best writing.
Imposter Syndrome: How to Be a Writer
Many authors secretly feel like frauds. You may doubt your qualifications, credentials, or talent to write a book despite evidence contrary to these fears. This experience is called imposter syndrome — when accomplishments still don’t convince you that you deserve success, which significantly harms your author mindset.
For writers, imposter syndrome often stems from focusing more on what you haven’t mastered yet versus proven strengths. Sometimes it is caused by being overly concerned with what friends and loved ones will think of your writing. You might imagine them scoffing at what you’ve written rather than being proud of your accomplishments.
Comparing early drafts to published books is another way that self-doubt can compound. Aspiring memoirists may feel unworthy of documenting their lives. Experts might worry readers expect more authoritative content. Ultimately, this is what paralyzes writing with under-confidence instead of embracing progress.
Combat imposter syndrome by courageously inventorying exactly why you’re qualified, perhaps uniquely so, to author your book right now.
Catalog evidence like threading previous life experience educating people already. Even fiction writers pull from their own emotional truths.
Journal reflectively to unravel why you feel undeserving; usually childhood or societal conditioning underpins imposter syndrome more than current shortcomings. Then rewrite limiting self-perceptions reminding yourself successes don’t happen by accident.
If you feel called to uplift others through writing, honor that purpose over self-judgment. In short, feel the fear and do it anyway. Your future self will thank you.
Writers Flow: Honing in Your Author Mojo
What do we mean when we say “writers flow?” Does it mean when you write fast? Write slow?
Each author’s writers flow is when you find that special momentum where you type at your average pace and feel good about it. The words seem to come to you seamlessly, as if directly from source.
So how can you find your own writers flow? And what about when inspiration doesn’t strike, but you still need to write something, anything?
New York Times bestselling author David Wise was notorious for writing at least five pages a day. When he finished his five pages, he’d treat himself to a swim, his most favorite pastime. No five pages, no swim. Easy as that.
But what does David Wise’s swimming habit have to do with you?
It’s all about author mojo. Each author has it. But each author has a different mojo. It’s about finding what works for you.
There are two distinct working styles: the “bursters” who hyperfocus intensely and “plodders” who chip away consistently. Neither is better. Bursters rely on concentrated sessions in the right headspace to enter flow. Plodders integrate brief, daily writing to build progress.
To find your mojo, test writing at varied times while tracking what enables light, fluid focus. Track when, how long, and under what conditions you enter immersive flow. Soon your distinct author mojo emerges facilitating regular flow states propelling manuscript momentum.
Read More: Got Mojo?
Develop a Daily Writing Routine with your Author Mindset
Consistent writing progress is a great way to build your author mindset. It relies on committing to a personalized schedule harnessing your working style. Begin by identifying as either a “plodder” (progressing through consistent, small sessions) or a “burster,” someone who writes rapidly in concentrated chunks. Plodders chip away daily, while bursters knock out full drafts quickly through marathon focus when inspiration peaks.
Plodders integrate brief writing sessions into mundane routines, like waking fifteen minutes earlier to write before sending the kids off to school. This maintains momentum across months steadily accumulating pages. Bursters intensely outpour entire manuscripts when ideas overflow, risking losing steam between inspired states.
To develop sustainable habits, select schedules aligning with your natural energy cycles revealed when mapping your author mojo. Morning people arise early harnessing fresh focus. Night owls burn midnight oil uninterrupted. Test writing at different times until patterns emerge showcasing optimal timing.
Finally, commit fully to daily consistency even if just brief check-ins during hectic periods. Skipping days risks losing the passion and inspiration driving your book. Progress compounds when establishing repetitive rituals writing becomes second nature.
Whether plowing methodically as ideas trickle or pouring rapidly when creativity crashes like waves, dedicate time daily activating flow by working in sync with your style and building your author mindset.
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